Diversion for Animal Cruelty

Our client was charged with a single offence of causing cruelty to an animal in contravention of section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Vic).

The client had no prior criminal history. He held a senior and very responsible position in the Australian Army. The RSPCA were contacted and it was suggested that diversion would be appropriate in all the circumstances. The RSPCA agreed, the diversion notice was filed with the court, and the matter set down for a diversion assessment hearing.

What is alleged to have occured?
The allegation was that the client had been physically abusive towards his dog by kicking his dog several times. He was very remorseful and had provided the RSPCA with a detailed account of the factors that had precipitated the offending.

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court. For this particular case, he was able to secure a sentence of diversion for Animal Cruelty.

Our client had no previous convictions and had made full admissions to the offending. It was identified earlier on during our conferences with the client that a criminal record was to be avoided. Diversion was the only means to achieve an outcome that would not adversely affect his employment.

The client was advised to obtain material that would support his otherwise exemplary character. He obtained several character references which spoke to his good character in a professional and community setting. The client also provided material that demonstrated his sincere remorse and the constructive steps he had taken to redress his offending directly with the RSPCA.

What was the result?
Our client received a diversion for Animal Cruelty which was a very positive outcome. A criminal record (even without conviction) would have had a devastating impact upon an otherwise unblemished personal and professional record.

Elements of Animal Cruelty:
  • the accused wounded, mutilated, tortured, overrode, overdrove, overworked, abused, beat, worried, tormented or terrified an animal; or
  • the accused loaded, crowded or confined an animal where the loading, crowding or confinement of the animal causes, or is likely to cause, unreasonable pain or suffering to the animal; or
  • the accused did or omitted to do an act with the result that unreasonable pain or suffering is caused, or is likely to be caused, to an animal; or
  • the accused drove, conveyed, carried or packed an animal in a manner or position or in circumstances which subjects or subject, or is likely to subject, it to unnecessary pain or suffering; or
  • the accused worked, rode, drove or used an animal when it is unfit for the purpose with the result that unreasonable pain or suffering is caused to an animal; or
  • the accused was the owner or the person in charge of an animal which is confined or otherwise unable to provide for itself and failed to provide the animal with proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter; or
  • the accused sold, offered for sale, purchased, drove or conveyed an animal that appears to be unfit (because of weakness, emaciation, injury or disease) to be sold, purchased, driven or conveyed; or
  • the accused abandoned an animal of a species usually kept in a state of confinement or for a domestic purpose; or
  • the accused was the owner or the person in charge of a sick or injured animal and unreasonably failed to provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment for the animal; or
  • the accused, other than in accordance with the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, the Wildlife Act 1975, the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016, or the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, intentionally administered to an animal or laid a bait for the animal containing a poison or any other substance which, when administered to that type of animal, has a harmful effect on the animal; or
  • the accused used spurs with sharpened rowels on an animal; or
  • the accused carried out a prohibited procedure on an animal
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 09/11/2018